Canemorto & Carlo Zinelli @ Altrove Gallery
In the duo exhibition “Carlo giallo su sfondo di tre cani”, on view through January 21st, 2017 at Altrove Gallery (Corso Mazzini 178, Catanzaro, Italy), the artists Canemorto present a new series of 300 works made with tempera on paper in just 15 days, “reinterpreting the compulsiveness and the repetition/mutation of the forms at the base of Carlo Zinelli’s work”.
Italian artist Carlo Zinelli (1916-1974), known as Carlo, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized in 1947. “Carlo was placed under restraint in the asylum in Verona where about 1,200 human beings were housed in separate wards, according to their levels of madness. He was incarcerated in the fifth ward where the worst cases were treated. Here in total isolation, progressively unable to relate verbally, his communication deteriorated into a mixture of words without logical connections, often perceived as pure sounds through which his internal world found confused expression” – Maria Azzola (citation source). Jenifer P. Borum notes that in 1955 “Carlo was observed drawing on the wall of his asylum courtyard with nails and bricks. He was encouraged to make art by a visiting artist, and soon began to flourish in the hospital art studio provided for patients, which provided paper, pen, gouache, and creative sanctuary. (…) Carlo left a legacy of over 3,000 works that continue to invite us into a rich yet unpredictable conversation.”
Associating the work of Carlo with graffiti, Edoardo Suraci adds in relation to the exhibition that “graffiti radically changed Zinelli’s life and made history: his works reached Jean Dubuffet in Paris, who was theorising the concepts of anti-culturelle art and art brut in those same years, and they also attracted personalities like André Breton. The same aggressive and unsightly approach is evident in Canemorto, whose irreverent and brutal artistic production allows them to revisit Art Brut and encourage a counterculture that is extremely contemporary and cultured, within the public space.” The 300 works of Canemorto surround three front-and-back paintings by Carlo, placed in the middle of Altrove Gallery, part of the exhibition with the support of Museo della Follia. Therefore, a dialogue between eras emerges, between modern art and contemporary art, as well as between artists.
Canemorto manage to reflect, with extraordinary force and profound comprehension, the dual nature of a struggling mind, its darkness and brightness, the unease, the inner demons, the grotesque and ferocity, the beauty and fragility of seeing, feeling and being different, isolated in a world that both hurts and heals.
Images courtesy of Canemorto.